While at the TIME/Fortune/CNN Global Forum 2010 this morning I did an interview for a half hour with John Maytham, host of popular Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk, Talk Radio Capetown. We spoke about this global economic crisis as a crisis of virtues and values, and how Africa has an opportunity, as the world re-emerges from this crisis, to show a values-centered version of capitalism and free-enterprise. I spoke of "Ubuntu," or "I am me because you are you" in South Africa, and the role that dignity will play in the value set of future leaders.
I shared the story of HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Professor Pekka Himanen and I (all Young Global Leaders for the World Economic Forum) went into a Cape flats school a couple years ago to teach a Course in Dignity as part of Global Dignity, and how today my global chief of financial literacy, Mary Hagerty, is leading an effort on-the-ground in Cape Town and throughout seven provinces in South Africa to teach one million youth, women and families (over 10 years) a course in dignity, the language of money (financial literacy) and entrepreneurship.
I mentioned that while political leadership is critically important in and for Africa, what Africa needs now is a generation of self-empowered young leaders who are focused on saving and empowering their own lives, and to gain the skills necessary to gain them a sustainable foothold in the economic system. Dr. King, Mandela, Desmond Tutu and others clearly acknowledge — you cannot have ultimate freedom from oppression, without economic empowerment. This is our silver rights movement in action. Helping people to help themselves.
Operation HOPE, South Africa has 674 HOPE Corps volunteers, is operational in 7 Provinces, and has taught 14,750 learners, men and women through our Banking on Our Future program. We have offices at CIDA in Johannesburg and other locations. Our partners include IFC (International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group), Citi, Deutsche Bank, UPS (United Parcel Service) Foundation, as well as the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, Peace Corps, South Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Youth of Southern Africa, the City of Tshwane, Gauteng Department of Education and the Western Cape Education Department, amongst others. Our boards in South Africa are chaired by Andile Ncontsa, head of the Old Mutual Foundation, and Mayor Herman Bailey, an entrepreneur and former mayor of Wellington. Sean Cleary, an advisor to the chairman of the World Economic Forum, also South African, chairs our HOPE Global Board of Advisors.
If you want to get involved with Operation HOPE, South Africa, as a HOPE Corps volunteer or partner, go to Operation HOPE, South Africa.
One person can make a difference. Be that one person! Get involved with our work today.
Onward with HOPE,